“If people are wondering why we don’t have an assault weapons ban, it’s because the Democrats have dropped the ball. Period,” said Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.
WGN Investigates found in the past decade, there have been 27 bills submitted that would ban assault-style weapons. However, none have become law and most haven’t even been voted on.
“They’re hypocrites,” Durkin said.
State Representative Durkin is the rare Republican who says he could support a ban. Still, Democrats who hold a supermajority in Springfield and control legislation have buried bills in committees.
“Assault weapons bans, right now they’re all gung ho about it – JB Pritzker, Speaker Welch, the Senate – they’re all heroes after the fact,” Durkin said. “When they had the chamber for the last 12 years and these bills were sitting there introduced, waiting to be called for a hearing, the Democrats refused to bring it up for action.”
* House Speaker Welch’s spokesperson Jaclyn Driscoll…
Leader Durkin voted against an extended waiting period for assault weapons, a ban on bump stocks, red flag awareness, and didn’t vote to ban ghost guns.
Still, the Speaker was encouraged to read in media reports that we can count on the minority leader’s vote when the assault weapons ban goes up on the board. Representative Maura Hirschauer will be reaching out to Leader Durkin and we look forward to him signing on in support of HB5522.
In the meantime, instead of playing political games in the media on such a tragic and sensitive issue, it might be more productive if Durkin spent more time working to build consensus amongst the caucus he’s supposed to be leading.